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San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carlos Bea is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday in a second attempt for a federal court seat. How he’ll fare this time remains to be seen, but the nomination of the 69-year-old to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seems to have a clear path — he will be introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer. He also has the support of California’s other Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein. “I’m looking forward to going back there,” Bea said. Bea was nominated to the Northern District in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush. But the nomination collapsed amid late-term politics. The American Bar Association gave Bea a lukewarm “qualified” rating, with a minority voting not qualified. But the native Spaniard’s support among Latino groups remains strong, with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund offering its support. Bea has been on the San Francisco Superior Court bench since 1990, hearing mostly civil cases. For 15 years before that Bea was in private practice. He is a graduate of Stanford University and played on the 1952 Cuban Olympic basketball team. One of his four sons medalled in the 2000 Olympics. If appointed, Bea would be the fourth nominee of President Bush to make it to the Ninth Circuit. The others are Richard Clifton of Hawaii, Jay Bybee of Nevada, and Consuelo Callahan of California. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl’s nomination to the Ninth Circuit remains bogged down in controversy. Kuhl is opposed by women’s rights groups, who point out that Kuhl made legal arguments to limit abortion while a lawyer in the Justice Department. They also point to a ruling she made against a woman who claimed her privacy was violated during a health exam. Though Kuhl’s nomination was voted out of the Judiciary Committee along party lines, she has not seen a floor vote. Her nomination has also been threatened with a filibuster, which Democrats have used to block a small number of Bush’s nominations.

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